Our teeth have such an important role in our day to day lives and overall health. Everyday they help us speak, chew, and smile. That’s why it’s so important to start taking care of your child’s teeth at a young age. You can help your child maintain a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime by following the five tips below:
1. Brush AFTER breakfast
Why? When breakfast consists of food and drinks containing lots of sugar or carbs, like sugary cereals and apple juice, brushing after a meal can help reduce bacteria in your child’s mouth and prevent tooth decay. Plus, it helps get rid of morning breath!
2. Parents assist with brushing at night
Your child needs assistance from a parent while brushing to ensure a good job is done. Children under the age of six simply do not have the dexterity to reach all surfaces of their teeth effectively. At Kids Teeth, we recommend parents standing behind your child during bedtime brushing to make sure all surfaces of the teeth are cleaned effectively. This method is demonstrated in our brushing videos. Don’t forget to teach your child to spit out extra toothpaste to avoid swallowing excessive amounts of fluoride or choose to brush with a fluoride rinse until they can spit.
3. Begin flossing as soon as the back teeth start to touch
Flossing is not routinely necessary until the teeth begin to touch. But as your child gets older and the spacing between their teeth decreases, it’s time to introduce flossing. We suggest flossing your child’s teeth by positioning yourself behind them or laying them on the floor with their head in your lap. Gently guide the floss around the side of the tooth near the gum in a “C” shape. Avoid chopping motions and move from bottom to top two to three times. Repeat nightly on all back teeth.
4. Brush their tongue
Your child’s tongue is full of crevices and grooves making it easy for pesky bacteria to hide and stick to it. The bacteria can grow and multiply on the surface of their tongue causing bad breath. That bacteria growth can also cause cavities or periodontal disease. Encouraging your child to brush and scrape their tongue when they brush removes this bacteria and prevents stinky breath. Remember, your child’s tongue should appear pink, not white.
5. Visit the dentist twice a year
Your child’s first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. Visiting the dentist twice a year allows the Pediatric Dentist to determine if your child’s brushing habits are effective, cover any questions about their mouth development, and diagnose any potential areas that may need extra attention. To encourage parents to begin their dental healthcare early, we offer complimentary visits to all children under 18 months old. Please call our office to learn more or submit an appointment request online.
Drink water. Sipping water is actually one of the best things your child can do for their teeth. It’s a great and easy way to fight tooth decay and decrease cavities. Water also helps keep their mouth clean because it rinses away unwanted sugar left behind on your child’s teeth from sugary drinks or starchy snacks (like goldfish).
Have additional questions?
Give us a call (843) 216-5879 or request an appointment online if you’d like to learn more about caring for your child’s teeth. We’d love to see you at Kids Teeth and help you begin your child’s dental health journey!